Lake Ōkāreka


Lake Ōkāreka

Lake Ōkāreka earned its name (‘the lake of sweet food’) when, many years ago, Māori grew sweet potato or kumara around the outside of the lake. Today, it’s a hive of activity year-round - Ōkāreka is great for swimming, water-skiing, barbecues, boating and fishing.

Into walking instead? There’s a great hike, which starts at Acacia Road and follows the lake edge to the Ōkāreka Outlet, boasting beautiful views of farmland, beach, lake and wildlife.

Only 15 minutes’ drive from Rotorua and situated in the picturesque setting of native forest, Ōkāreka’s township has a quietness and charm to it. Because it’s off the beaten track, the lake remains hidden away to large groups of tourists.  

Lake Ōkāreka has reasonably clear, clean water, but over time it’s been affected by land use in the catchment, with nutrients introduced to the lake from surrounding farmland and residential septic tanks.

The Lake Ōkāreka Action Plan has seen a few great improvements, and the lake now has stable water quality, but it’s still slightly above target. More land use change in the catchment is currently being negotiated to further improve water quality.

Current Lakes Closures / Events

2023 30 Sept - Kayak Krazy 10k Champs - CRNZ

Saturday 30 September 2023

Event / Who

10K Krazy Kayak Champs, Canoe Racing NZ



Course Map (docx.240KB)


  • 0930 - 1400 hours  (includes set up/pack down times)
  • Boyes Beach
  • A circuit (loop) race of 2.5km, 5km and 10km distances in multiple laps.
  • Final in a series of races determining national champion in each age group


*NEW DATE* 2023 29 Nov-Waka Ama Sprints- Te Waiariki Purea Trust

Postponement Date:  Wednesday 29 November 2023
Original Dates: Thursday 02 - Friday 03 Nov 2023 - postponed due to weather

Event / Who  
Rotorua Rangatahi Waka Ama Sprints 2023/Te Waiariki Purea Trust

Lake Closure    
Monday 0700 hrs - Tuesday 1800 hrs  

Area Closed 
CLOSED-    Adjacent Boyes Beach (Organiser map, JPG 170Kb)

Event Timeframe
Set Up Day    0700-0900 hrs  

Event             0900-1500 hrs 
Pack Down   1530-1800 hrs


There are no health warnings.
Recent Monitoring Results
Click here to view full test analysis
There are currently no health warnings for Ōkāreka
Water Quality
Recent Blue Green Algae
Monitoring Results
Click here to view latest test results